You are not alone.
Proper 19 Year C
The Rev. Deacon Lisa Kirby
September 15, 2019
“Lost and Found”
In today’s Gospel some items are lost, and these are items of worth. The sheep was a source of income for the shepherd and the coin was of great value to the woman.
An important thing to note here is that everyone and everything is of importance to God, including you.
God treasures each of his children. When one is lost, he goes into search mode. God’s nature is to love and to love is to go out and search tirelessly.
We’ve all either been literally lost (me before GPS and occasionally with it), more importantly we have all felt lost at some time or other—emotionally, spiritually, lost in grief, fear, or just sadness.
Please note that being lost is not the same as being abandoned. Francis de Salle said “The same sweet Lord who brought you hitherto, will not abandon you now.” We may feel lost but we will never be abandoned by our loving God. Our God is always seeking us out and we must allow ourselves to be found.
I’ve heard it said, “if God seems far away, who moved?” We are also to seek. It’s been said that our seeking is out willingness to be found.
Cortney reminded us a few weeks ago that we will never look into the face of anyone who is not loved by God and we should include looking in the mirror at our own faces. The coin and the sheep had value; you have value.
There was a woman named Mina, an experienced hiker who was alone and got off track when she fell and broke her leg and lay helpless in the brush. She lost her shoes in a flood. Rescuers searched for the standard 72 hours and then called off the search. Volunteers persisted, however. They searched, ravines, pools. They climbed, rappelled, hiked. They got a helicopter and on day 17 she was spotted 7 miles from the central search area. She was injured, she was dehydrated but she was alive. And all rejoiced.
God is like those volunteers, He persists, and never gives up. If you are feeling lost, you need to know that someone is looking for you. The true searcher doesn’t search until dark, or until the weather turns bad or exhaustion sets in. The searcher persists until the sheep is returned to the flock and the coin is pressed into the hand of the woman. No matter how lost, embarrassed, or ashamed you may feel; you are of value and worthy to be found, and we will all rejoice.
We need to be searchers, too. God depends on us to be his hands and feet to search, wherever the search may take us, knowing we are supported and sustained by his life-giving spirit; we need to be like the volunteers who searched for Mina. Christ Church’s mission is to love as Jesus loves. May we search as Jesus searches.
Sometimes, self-searching through journaling or meditation can be helpful, but we frequently need some help—a spiritual director, a therapist---someone who can help us find ourselves and re-frame our negativity and sense of loss or worthlessness.
I want to reiterate a couple of crucial points—first, you are never totally lost. You may feel lost, but you are of value and you will never be abandoned. If you feel lost maybe all you need to do is turn around and go in a different direction---toward God who will always be there to welcome you, his beloved lamb, back into the fold.
Secondly, we are all called to be searchers. We can be aware when someone suddenly acts differently, removed, emotionally distant. A simple phone call for a “spiritual check” that doesn’t have to be overly obvious. If someone starts not being places they normally are, you can make a simple call to say “I’ve missed you”. That 5 minute call may give a person all they need to begin the journey back.
If someone seems lost, be the hands and voice of Jesus, the great Seeker. If you are lost, beloved of God, turn around---turn around and be found, and we will all rejoice!